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Insurance Premium Tax

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the cost was of collecting and administering insurance premium tax in 2000–01. [31550]

Ruth Kelly: The cost to HM Customs and Excise in collecting and administering insurance premium tax in 2000–01 was £2 million in net current expenditure.

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the impact of insurance premium tax on the ability of British insurance companies to compete against foreign insurance suppliers for British customers. [31549]

Ruth Kelly: Insurance premium tax applies equally to general insurance of risks in the UK, regardless of the location of the insurer.

Foot and Mouth

Brian Cotter: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many businesses have been allowed to defer their taxation payments to the Inland Revenue as a result of the foot and mouth crisis; what the total value is of these deferred payments; how many businesses have since been required to recommence payments on deferred taxes; and what the total value of payments is that have been received on these deferred taxes. [30548]

Dawn Primarolo: In the cumulative period 21 March 2001 to 20 January 2002 the Inland Revenue has helped 14,517 businesses by agreeing to defer £118.60 million tax and National Insurance contributions for mainly between three and 12 months. No businesses seriously affected by the FMD outbreak have been required to recommence payments of deferred tax and we do not have full details of payments received on deferred taxes. However, a sample review of these cases in December 2001 revealed that as much as £49.81 million had been paid voluntarily.

Bankruptcy Petitions

Sue Doughty: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the Inland Revenue's policy with regard to the use of (a) the London High Court and (b) local county courts to file bankruptcy petitions. [30367]

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Dawn Primarolo: Where the Inland Revenue has to take bankruptcy proceedings to obtain payment of a tax debt, the proceedings are heard in the High Court in London.

Empty Properties

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his estimate is of the (a) annual cost and (b) total value of the empty properties owned by (i) his Department, (ii) his agencies and (iii) other public bodies for which he has had responsibility in each of the last four years. [30082]

Ruth Kelly: The annual cost of the empty properties owned by the Chancellor's Department and the agencies in 2000–01 is estimated as £2,047,327. The total number of empty properties in this year was 30, but of these eight were disposed of in the year.

The total open market value attributable to vacant properties in 2000–01 was £15.311 million.

Data for the previous three years can be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

PAYE

Mr. Edward Davey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people the Inland Revenue employed in (a) PAYE coding administration, (b) all other remaining aspects of PAYE administration, (c) all other taxation matters not covered in (a) and (b) above and (d) all other tasks not covered in (a) to (c) above in (i) 1979–80, (ii) 1996–97, (iii) 1999–2000 and (iv) 2000–01. [26861]

Dawn Primarolo: The total numbers of staff employed in the Inland Revenue on administering PAYE and on other tasks is included in the table.

1999–20002000–01
PAYE16,43417,854
Other taxation40,90043,362
Other tasks6,5585,704
Total63,89266,920

The Inland Revenue is unable to provide detailed staff figures for the years 1979–80 and 1996–97 as records were not kept in the manner required and it would therefore involve disproportionate cost to provide this information.

Mr. Edward Davey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the total cost of administering the PAYE system of income tax in (a) 1980, (b) 1990, (c) 2000 and (d) 2000–01 at (i) current and (ii) historic prices. [26865]

Dawn Primarolo: The total cost to the Inland Revenue of administering the PAYE system of Income Tax in 2000–01 was £534.4 million. In 1999–2000 the cost was £485 million. This represents £498.6 million in current prices.

It has not been possible to provide the requested data for the years 1980 and 1990. This is because the Inland Revenue did not record PAYE work separately during this period.

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Departmental Expenditure (Publications)

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his estimate is of the expenditure of his Department on newspapers, magazines and periodicals in each of the last four years. [30093]

Ruth Kelly: The answer is as follows:


Since 1999 expenditure on newspapers, magazines and periodicals has not been held centrally. Such information could be obtained only at disproportionate costs.

Tax Receipts

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average income tax and national insurance paid per tax unit was in each of the last four years. [26277]

Dawn Primarolo: Estimates for income taxpayers and income tax liabilities can be found in Inland Revenue Statistics tables 2.1 and 3.3. The latest versions can be found on the Inland Revenue website http:// www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk.stats/income_tax/it_t01–1.htm http://www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/stats/income_distribution/ pi_t03_1.htm. The average national insurance contributions per contributor are in the table:

£

Average national insurance liabilities per contributor(16)
1997–981,000
1998–991,000
1999–20001,000
2000–011,100

(16) Estimates are net of contracted out rebates and exclude employer contributions.


Amounts (provided by the Government Actuary's Department) have been rounded to the nearest £50.

Benefit Fraud

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the regional breakdown was of the investigations carried out in respect of WFTC and DPTC in each year since the credits commenced. [23307]

Dawn Primarolo: The table shows the number of investigations carried out by the Inland Revenue on working families tax credit and disabled person's tax credit applications for the periods listed. This information is logged by postcode, and so any applications where a postcode has not been supplied have been listed 'region not identified'.

Government Office RegionWFTC investigations DPTC investigations
Period 1 (1 October 1999 to 31 March 2000)
North East86622
North West1,51235
Yorkshire and The Humber1,73928
East Midlands1,15922
West Midlands1,14032
East of England94814
London1,04610
South East1,22219
South West1,25421
Wales60821
Scotland117623
Region not identified6173
Total13,287250
Period 2 (1 April 2000 to 31 March 2001)
North East1,90650
North West3,678138
Yorkshire and The Humber3,09380
East Midlands1,53546
West Midlands2,63694
East of England1,33665
London1,42147
South East1,85749
South West1,96254
Wales1,61989
Scotland2,02067
Region not identified2,16620
Total25,229799
Period 3 (1 April 2001 to 30 November 2001)
North East93748
North West1,786111
Yorkshire and The Humber1,31051
East Midlands88135
West Midlands1,36771
East of England85137
London82432
South East91147
South West88663
Wales76952
Scotland94258
Region not identified40214
Total11,866619

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EDUCATION AND SKILLS

Standard Spending Assessment

Mr. Michael Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans she has to reduce the variation of education standard spending assessment per pupil between local education authorities. [28450]

Mr. Timms: We are currently working up proposals for a reformed system of school and LEA funding for introduction in 2003–04. We aim to create a simpler, more transparent and fairer formula that reflects fairly, on the basis of up to date evidence, the needs of authorities in different parts of the country. We do not want there to be disparities in the formula which are not justified by the education needs of children.

In the meantime we are continuing to make significant increases in funding overall. In 2002–03 Education Standard Spending will increase by over £1.3 billion; Standards Fund grant will increase by almost £160 million: and direct grants to schools will increase by 2.75 per cent.

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